Clevedon taken by Mithridates!

The following article was written by John Sampson in 2003 after a successful weekend at Clevedon.

I had a very enjoyable weekend at Clevedon in their 25mm competition. It attracted 30 players half from the South West and half from around the rest of the country, including a number of top BHGS seeds. As I’ll be using the Portuguese again at the Worlds I decided to take something different, a favourite of mine in 6th Edition (yes that old) was Mithridatic so ……

The army

The plan for what went into the army was largely based on the figures available, now DBM armies require more figures than 6th Edition armies which meant I had little choice. However, I managed to put together an army that had some sort of strike force in each command.

• Mithridates himself commanded a large command (28.5) of foot, pike, warband and lots of auxilla (S) (Should be alright in terrain then – not that there was any on my table side in any game). It needed to be big because pikes and warband are both brittle.

• The next command (18.5) included the Sarmatian KnF, the Pontic LHO and the rest was filler javelinmen (O).

• The Allied command of Armenians (12.5) was made up of KnX and LHF and some filler Ax(O).

• The final command included the four scythed chariots and the Pontic CvO (4).

My view of expendables is that you shouldn’t expect them to do much damage but that they will disrupt your opponent and make him spent pips.

Game 1

Versus Russ King’s Feudal French (or who’d be a general?)
Mmm … tricky a load of KnS and BwO, about the worst match up I can get.

Game Plan

Use the chariots to disrupt the knights and pull them out and then try to pick them off one by one, use the LhO to dance around in front of the bows.
Well I managed to keep the bows occupied but the chariots were almost totally ineffectual against the knights. A shortage of pips and some pulling out of line with Lh disrupted the knights eventually, added to the death of my opponent’s generals and my Armenians (including the general). 9-1 to me.

Game 2

Versus Keith McGlynn’s Patrician Roman (Good grief he’s got more knights than me and there’s a shed load of them deployed opposite my Auxilla)

Game Plan

Get the chariots to slow him up, wriggle desperately with the auxilla, involve the cavalry and get the pikes into the knights.
On my left I slowed Keith’s knights using one chariot and the cavalry from that command, meanwhile the pikes angled across and the auxilla shuffled off to the side edge as much as they could. In the centre the remaining chariots hit some auxilla, died but took out 1.5 elements and kept the auxilla away from supporting anything. On my right my 5 knights against his 6, but I had lots of LhO as well. I eventually made a whole and once I’d got LhO behind him that was one command down. Keith’s centre command of blades was now very vulnerable and died quickly. On my left I managed to save all but one auxilla. 10 – 0

Game 3

Versus John Graham-Leigh’s Vikings (Bloodbath)
John had a fair bit of terrain, a waterway and a fortified camp. With at least 19 BdF in each command this was going to be a challenge. He was also obviously flank marching.

Game Plan

Advance steadily in with the foot but guard against blades being landed behind me from the waterway. Threaten some of the Bd with knights, use the Lh to get around the flank and disrupt the blades, attack, even into rough going if necessary with chariots to break them up a bit.
I rolled a 6 with the LhO/KnF command, one to hold the knights and off went the Lh to turn completely onto John’s flank, They then attacked, drew blades out into the open, killed a bit but, more importantly left blades out in the open in a mess. The Chariots and some KnX did the rest. Meanwhile John attacks with his big infantry block against my foot. Mayhem ensues as warbands get fast kills but are then drawn forward to be killed by the second or third ranked BdF. Meanwhile the flank march arrives, my KnF have been waiting, oops they died – much back peddling to save the command. Have you ever seen a PsO throw itself at a wall of blades only to flee through 8 pieces of 25mm baggage – it goes a long way! Well its tight, Most of my commands are one or two elements from breaking but I only need one blade form John’s CinC. A pike blocks angles across everybody (horror if it’s forced to recoil) makes a blade conform which is then flanked by a Ps0, 6 – 4 for the game. YES! A very nasty 10 – 0.

Game 4

Versus John Buckley’s Malays (Chariots rule OK)
Well I now only need a draw to win the competition so what do I do – my foot are very vulnerable to WbS and El, my knights don’t like them either. I fail to get any helpful terrain.

Game Plan

Well a draw will do. I must delay the knight fight (hurray for Lh) and only fight with the knights form those commands. Now I must protect the warband and pike. I deploy these on my base line. Protected by a line of AxS – well they die against WbS too but slowly and only one at a time. And I deploy the chariots in front of these to disrupt the warband and slow him down as far as getting at my infantry is concerned.
Off rush the Lh and spend the rest of the game restricting the Wb opposite the Kn to 100 pace moves. The chariots go forward, the Ax go half way forward. Some PsX come out to stop the chariots, they kill one but the other three ride into the Wb, and destroy a total of 8.5 elements, yes exactly the number needed. The rest of the game sees off cavalry and knights attempting to get away from the lumbering warband. With the odd sacrificial knight John is unable to get in against sufficient knights to make a difference. 6 -4

A great competition, obviously made all the better by my winning it! A lot of interesting armies though a predominance of Roman types. The big spear block armies made little real headway, Sassanids and Achamenids nearly triumphed! Thanks Don and the rest of the Clevedon crew.

John Sampson – 13 September 2003